Today, certified well contractors offer a myriad of treatment options designed for families who receive water from an independent well. Along with filtration and distillation, ultraviolet water treatment technology is available that can effectively treat your entire water supply. This point of entry system is specifically designed to treat drinking water and help prevent common bacterial contamination and is an excellent cost effective alternative to replacement of your entire system.
Ideally, homeowners who receive their water from an independent well will have water free from bacterial organisms. However, with today’s focus on health, installing an ultraviolet water treatment system adds an extra layer of protection. It’s important that any water treatment system is properly installed and maintained so start by contacting your local health or water department to find the names of state-certified contractors that can assess your situation and offer options.
Let’s examine exactly how ultraviolet water treatment systems work and what you’ll need to know before speaking with your contractor.
What is Ultraviolet Water Treatment?
Ultraviolet light is a form of radiation that is not visible. Ultraviolet water treatment is a quick and affordable method to disinfect and remove the threat of contamination of most microorganisms including viruses, bacteria, and protozoa. It does this by passing the water through a UV light source. This irradiates the contaminants altering their DNA to prevent reproduction and rendering them inert.
This UV system produces light over a narrow range of wavelengths known to kill most common microorganisms. A UV water system is relatively simple in design. Source water travels into a closed chamber which houses a low or medium pressure mercury vapor lamp. The water flow rate allows the water to pass by the light for a particular period allowing the water to be exposed to the UV rays which kill any microorganisms present.
This type of system is especially useful for home use because the water flow rate is usually only a few gallons per minute, which allows ample time for the system to do its work. Because the effectiveness is directly related to the light's ability to reach any contaminants, if your well has turbidity issues like iron or manganese sediment, or is cloudy, the system may need a pre-filter to remove these issues before UV treatment.
Installing a UV System for Water Treatment
A UV system can be directly wired to start and stop with your well pump. However, most manufacturers recommend running the lamp continually to kill any bacteria that may enter the device when the well pump is off.
It’s important to keep your UV system clean. Ultraviolet water treatment effectiveness can be reduced by mineral or bacterial film buildup. Some devices feature an auto-clean mode, while others have a cleaning mode that can be started manually. The bulbs require replacement after about 9000 hours of use, which is about once a year.
A UV system is an excellent way to prevent issues with your well. Combining it with a water filtration system can enhance a UV system’s effectiveness. Your certified contractor will work with you to determine the best approach and can also install it for you. Installing a UV system is a smart decision that will provide you and your family years of service and piece of mind.